Saturday, October 31, 2009

Our little Blossom has claimed a neighborhood stray as "her" own. Bud and Branch tolerate the kitty and think that it is fine for having around today as our halloween mascot.


MY 8 1/2 year old four-legged friend wasn't too sure that she was in favor of a kitten hanging around - even outside! Their first meeting involved my Barker chasing this cat up the driveway and up the side of the mountain! (She came back when I shook the treat jar!!)


They have become a bit more agreeable toward each other. Cat watches Dog.


Dog ignores Cat. (or at least tries!)


Blossom loves this cat. She says she likes its fur, its face, its size, its funny tricks, that it comes to visit her every day - multiple times each day, and it loves her.


My dog is just happy that she doesn't have to share the inside of our home, too. She just wants to go inside where it is warm, where she can curl up tight as a ball on the couch and I'll sit next to her petting her soft head and ears.


I am glad that I can tell Blossom that Pops and Bud are allergic to cats so we can't have one in the house. I am definitely a dog person. I like that they always wag their tail when you come home. They want to be near you. They like to play. Sometimes they act dumb and that is kind of endearing. They seem to love, want and need you. I love my dog!! Cats are tolerated... outside.

Costumes, anyone?!?

Happy Halloween!

Trick OR Treat...

I always pick the treats!!!

Chop Shop

Branch was in need of a bit of a haircut. The discussion has gone round and round. She was worried that a haircut would mean that she would have hair cut short up near her chin again, and she is really wanting "loooooong" hair.

It was finally discovered that she wanted to go to a "real" salon for a haircut. So, while teh boys were away... the girls did play!! (It's "D"iva week, after all!)


She was really feeling like big stuff climbing up into that salon chair and sitting in front of a mirror so large! But, she tried her best to play it cool.


Before we got to the salon, I asked her what she wanted for her haircut... Just a little bit off the ends to make it even again? A bit of fringey bangs? A whole new style? She responded by telling me that she wanted hair just like mine! (I just got a trim last weekend with a bit of long layers to make it not be so heavy.) Branch said she wanted to look just like me. I melted.


Then I put myself back together. I was at a stop sign and someone was just pulling up behind me and I needed to go, there was no cross traffic!


If she only knew that every time that I go to a salon, I wish that my hair (color, especially) would look just like hers. If it did, then I could have my own little girl hair back!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpkin Art

The pumpkins were picked from the patch and the artists began their work.


Pops wields the knife and removes the tops and cuts out their designs and steps aside while the treekids get to gutting the squash.


Every seed must be accounted for... a bit of guts might land on one's shirt and that is ok. The nice clothes have by now been removed and replaced by some ratty tank top or undershirt!


Or, no shirt if you are a boy and too impatient to go get an old one from your room! They really have to dig deep when they choose a large pumpkin!


"Some" like digging in all that goo.


"Others" aren't so sure if they like the mess or not!


The appeal is knowing that Pops will be roasting some deliciously flavored seeds!



Pops-O- Lantern with Blossom's little cuties




Wish Wand-O-Lantern (for Blossom on my squash)

A Family of Squash!!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

(A Mostly) Wordless Wednesday

2009 Pumpkin Festival



Blossom's pumpkin weighs in at...


a VERY GENEROUS 1 pound. (I think that perhaps the stem, leaf, and post-it note put it over just enough to make the one pound!)


Branch's pumpkin weighs in at...


5 pounds!



Two weeks later, Bud's pumpkin is weighed for the postponed contest and weighs in at...


60 pounds. I think he was a little disappointed, but his pumpkin wasn't too close to the winning pumpkin's size...


The "master pumpkin grower" in our area has a two year old grandson that grew a 336 pound pumpkin to enter in the children's contest. Hmmmmm. Better luck next year, treekids!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pick a Little? Pick a LOT!

This here is our local pumpkin patch. I must say that it is beautiful to go out to the pumpkin patch here in our neck of the woods!


Blossom began her hunt for the smallest pumpkin.


It wasn't long before she decided that she needed a bigger one, too. She needed one that could be carved!


Branch walked and walked and searched and searched. Finally she said, "Well, I think I will take that one I saw a while back that was kind of shaped like a peanut and was about this big."


She never found THAT pumpkin, but she found this one and seemed pleased with her choice.


Bud searched the ENTIRE pumpkin patch. EVERY pumpkin was scrutinized. He called me over and said that this was "the one."


Then, he got to looking at the back side of the pumpkin...


Aw, shucks. This is NOT the one. Bugs have eaten lots of little holes into the back. Grrr... back to the drawing board!


Now, THIS is "the one" - the one that got put into the back of the Tahoe!


Pops found his. I claimed to not need or want one. The family chose one for me anyhow because they wanted the seeds for roasting! Apparently, you can never have too many pumpkin seeds to roast...


We all had a nice time in the pumpkin patch. I had some trouble keeping up with everyone running this way and that, requesting a picture of this pumpkin and that one and don't forget that funny shaped one over there... Oh, my! They must have forgotten that we have a baby coming in just over a month and my body is busy growing that baby!!


The pumpkins in the patch that were chosen for taking home were scattered all around from one end to the other. No one wanted to carry their own pumpkin because they were choosing such big pumpkins! So, I hopped in the Tahoe and drove around the patch and stopped near each pumpkin for Pops to load up. It was fun to see them having a good time - even through my mirrors!


It wasn't terribly wet in the field, but it was wet enough that they all had some mud caked on their shoes. So, they had to walk their way out of the field and across the street over to the farm stand where we could pay for the pumpkins. No muddy shoes and bots in my clean vehicle, thank you! Yes, there is a tractor ride available... on Saturday and Sunday - not on Wednesday or Thursday afternoon!!


NO worries... objects in mirror are closer than they appear!!

Good times in the fall. More pumpkin fun to follow... the Pumpkin Festival was over the weekend and I have pictures to share!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

My Daybook, Entry #6

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Monday, Oct 26, 2009...

Outside my window... 54 degrees, gray foggy skies, drizzly rain. Even in the afternoon!! However, this morning, Pops woke me and pointed out our windows at the MOST amazing sunrise... Beautiful blue skies right above the mountains and lots of puffy clouds above that ... in the greatest orange and pink shades to welcome this day!

I am thinking... That I should not stay up so late chatting online with my friend at night!!

I am thankful for... A Saturday spent in town, without children... and a visit to the hair stylist for a cut and color!!! Woooo Hooooo!!!!

From the learning rooms... Fall Break!! We might do "D" week for fun... us girls will be on our own, so perhaps a Diva week would be FUN!!!

From the kitchen...
Monday: Well, I just made a homemade pizza for lunch, so I am stuck on supper for tonight - maybe the girls will want chicken nuggets or fish sticks!! Blech!
Tuesday: Local Mexican Fare
Wednesday: Seems like Meatloaf is calling to me!
Thursday: Breakfast for Supper!! Pancakes or Waffles or even maybe French Toast!
Friday: Crockpot roast & veggies.
Saturday: End of the year "party" at our local farm stand ... followed by tricks and treats downtown!
Sunday: Pops is gonna grill a steak for me - he doesn't know that yet, though!

I am wearing... Charcoal yoga pants with ice blue racing stripes down the sides and a t-shirt. Nothing fancy - the bathrooms and sweeping are calling out in desperation!!

I am creating... A baby!! Pops laid his arm over me while I was asleep this morning and was punched over and over and over again... never even phased me! Last week, we read that an average babe at this age is about 18 inches long and near 5 pounds! It was fun to watch the treekids lug around a five pound sack of potatoes to get a feel for what is hanging on my belly!!

I am going... To miss Pops and Bud while they are in northeast Oregon for their big bull elk hunt this week!!

I am reading... Baby name books... still... again.

I am hoping... That the girls (including me and the dog) do not drive each other crazy this week while we are without our men!!

I am hearing... The girls squealing and playing together... it is gonna turn sour soooooon!!

Around the house... I already mentioned the bathrooms and floors, but we are going to straighten and "nest" - the girls will think it is fun to start to get a few things ready for the baby!!

One of my favorite things... Seeing my kids learning new things. Blossom learned to skip today!! Bud got a new camera and already has figured out the self-timer and can throw the yo-yo down and get it to roll back up!! Branch is in the midst of improving on many things... reading chapter books is making her quite proud of herself lately, and she loves that she needs a bookmark now!

A few plans for the rest of the week... Girls week in (and out)!! I'll be taking them to the Drive-thru zoo, out for a salon haircut for Branch, nail painting for both girls at our fun at home day spa for Diva week, Trick or Treats downtown on Saturday, our own hunting trip to Sears for a possible freezer for the upcoming need of storage for a large elk, and a few other secrets that I am not yet sharing!!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...


Mad Dog Bull Riding Event
Photographer: Branch

To read more daybooks or to join in the fun, head over to Peggy's.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Yes, cream cheese frosting is the way to go on a cinnamon roll. There is NO other way to enjoy one. If you are stuck in the powdered sugar, butter/shortening, vanilla frosting, please come to the dark side and enjoy a REAL ooey gooey treat! It isn't any more complicated, and it is well worth all the fat and calories that it has.

Don't be shy with the frosting, either. There isn't anything much worse than getting to the end of your roll and not having any frosting left to lick off the plate!! All right, let's go to the kitchen!!

Cream Cheese Frosting

3 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup butter (don't even try to convince yourself that margarine is a decent substitute for butter - it never was and never will be. Use the real stuff... you'll be pleased you did!)
1 & 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt

Now, I don't really measure this stuff - but the recipe that I started with long long ago has these measurements. Use the brick of cream cheese that you can cut on the lines, around a half-stick of butter and you can eyeball the vanilla and salt. Make sure that the butter and cream cheese are room temp and beat them together with the vanilla and salt. Begin adding in the powdered sugar and keep beating it up until it is a consistency that you like - approx 1 & 1/2 cups of the sugar.

I use this much frosting on a small pan of rolls. On a 9 X 13 pan, I double this recipe - but remember - I do NOT skimp on the frosting!! IF you have any left over frosting, kids love it smeared onto a graham cracker as a quick afternoon treat!! MMMmmmm. Enjoy!! Let me know if you try it and how it goes!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Shower of Roses

Are you someone who found my blog through Jessica's blog? Are you someone who just reads both her blog and mine? Do you want to have some fun spoiling Jessica just a weeeee little bit? Would you like to join the fun?!

I am trying to help our friend Marci, who is planning a baby shower for Jessica in November. She has a lovely little idea that should be lots of fun if you want to help. (Do you know how hard it is to get this information out and about - when I KNOW that she comes over here and reads a bit on my blog!?!? Hi, Jessica - Go away and pretend that you know nothing of the sort is going on!!!) So, I can't give you all the details exactly, she's probably STILL reading this right now, anyway. So, if you DO want to help (and I know you all will) please leave a comment with your email or SOME way for me to contact you so that I can fill you in on all the fun! OR you can contact Marci at {jaknmak at charter dot net} or on her blog at

It should be a fun fun fun time!! So, join us... but HURRY! The baby shower is quickly approaching! Don't miss out!!

Clap, Crack, Crash

In honor of "C" week, I decided to make some yummy "Clone of a Cinnabon" Rolls for this morning. YUM! Pops has planned for a busy day with a ride-along with his bossman. So, Mr. Bossman was arriving at our house just before 7 this morning so that they could head out and be at at a veterinary clinic appointment by 8.

So, I began the process last night of making the dough, rolling it out, adding the butter, cinnamon and sugar, rolling it up, slicing and partially rising the dough. Then I covered the little beauties and popped them into the refrigerator! I wrote a note to Pops and stuck it on the mirror in our bathroom so that he would take them out of the fridge when he got up in the morning so that they would begin to come to room temperature before putting them into the oven. I noted that I would like for him to then wake me around 6 so that I could get them into the oven and make the cream cheese frosting (oh, I'm craving ANOTHER one!!). At around 5:55am, I woke to a warm hand grabbing my hand and Pops' voice saying - "HEY!" (It isn't easy to wake me up... especially when I am wearing earplugs that block up to 31 decibels!) I took out my earplugs and he said, "Listen to THAT!"

Waking up... waking up... waking...

HOLY COW! Clap, Crack, Crash... Gobble Gobble Gobble!!!

THUNDER! A little bit of lightening, and THUNDER! And of course, the wild turkeys were scared of the thunder. I love love love thunder. I laid there with my eyes closed - just listening. Pops came back into our room and chuckled. Apparently I had a nice big smile plastered on my face with my eyes closed! Oh, how I love listening to the clap of thunder, the crash of lightening and the plink plink sound of starting rain and changing to a more shhhhhhhhh sound as it really gets going and falling through the leaves. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning - what a gift!

The only thing missing in the regular weather pattern in my little neck of the woods in Oregon is a good thunderstorm on a regular basis! We haven't had a thunderstorm in our town for nearly 2 years I think. I could be wrong. It might be a year and a half - but I KNOW we didn't have one this spring or last fall!! The best thing about the weather in the midwest is the thunderstorms (when there is no threat of tornados!). Oh, how I miss the thunder.

Of course, my girls are a couple of chicken turkeys and came running out of their room when they heard the thunder (once it got much closer!) and wanted to be where it wasn't so scary... near me! I just tell them how much I love it and that all the noise is like a drummer in a marching band, Heaven's bowling alley or any other boom boom noise I can think of!

The cinnamon rolls turned out beautifully and I had a beautiful dark rainy morning with a hot drink, a hot roll and two, too silly girls! I am hoping for rain all day and a nice afternoon nap!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fun Crafty Blogs...

I suppose it wasn't "fair" to say that I had been reading all kinds of fun crafty blog posts without sharing what they were or where to find them! So, here you go... enjoy! I found a couple other ones that I LOVED - but, am choosing not to share until after the gift giving season... Some of you might be too nosey, you know?!?!!! Enjoy - but don't get lost for too long like I did this past weekend!

My Daybook, Entry #5

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Monday, Oct 19, 2009...

Outside my window... 47 degrees, gray foggy skies, drizzly rain. PERFECT! Where's my hot cup o' cocoa!?!!

I am thinking... That I need to get pictures taken of some of our projects from last week - "B" week. We did some "b" things, but I only took a few pictures of things that would disappear quickly... FOOD!

I am thankful for... Pops' safe return home AND for him being around this week when my sanity levels start to tank!

From the learning rooms... Week 10 of our lesson plans and "C" Week. I am thinking Chocolate and Cake and Cookies and Cocoa and Clearly... junk! Why won't my mind FIRST go to carrots, celery, chicken and other things filled with nutrition!??

From the kitchen... I am going to start writing a weekly menu plan again. We'll see how that goes. Wish me luck in making an exciting week of meals!

I am wearing... A short-sleeved knit maternity dress - gray with multi-sized black raindrop shaped spots all over and a big thick and cozy pair of gray soft socks.

I am creating... Another maternity skirt! Probably should consider waiting and making a skirt for later being as I am down to 45 days and counting until my due date! I also plan to make a "belly band" or whatever it is supposed to be called. If you don't know... it is a band that you wear around your waist area to compensate for some of the shirts that are a bit on the shorter side... raise your arms up and show off baby's private hideaway - YIKES! I also need to figure something out for that li'l Blossom who wants to match up with Branch's new jammies! Awww shucks... I've also been searching online for a baby sling pattern that I would like to sew. I am waffling... I like the Asian style baby carrier very much and it looks like it would function well especially with a bit older baby. I also like the pouch style baby sling and think it would be especially nice for running errands. However, I also like the Moby style wrap. I've never seen anyone actually using a Moby wrap, though - other than finding people online who use and like it. Trying to decide which one, two or three to try to create!

I am going... To take some Tylenol... baby is not making this last trimester comfortable!

I am reading... Some new found (to me) crafty blogs!! FUN, FUN, FUN!

I am hoping... That we have a healthy week for all of us! Quit coughing, Bud!!

I am hearing... The excitement in Branch's voice as she tells Bud and Blossom about the surprise the tooth fairy left behind in exchange for her two teeth... two coins: a silver dollar and a gold dollar!

Around the house... I regret to inform you that the critter is back in the yard. It was gone for a while and is now back. I think that we need to find out what the laws are in town for discharging a weapon. Just sayin'.

One of my favorite things... Watching PBR (Professional Bull Riding) on VS. with Pops in the evening - it's fun to watch with Blossom, too! She LOVES the bulls!

A few plans for the rest of the week... The kids want to visit our local pumpkin patch and go for a ride on the tractor. We have the rescheduled Pumpkin Festival this weekend, too. Other things are up in the air... we'll just have to see how the week turns out!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...


October 10
Oregon State vs. Stanford

To read more daybooks or to join in the fun, head over to Peggy's.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

All I Want For Christmas...

is my two front teeth!!


Grown back in her mouth, that is! Come on, girlie, whirly... crack open that mouth and give us a peek!


There it is, a nice gap that can plant a fine whistle...


or host the tip of her tongue!


Isn't it so much fun to be SIX years old?!?!